Army H.e.a.l.t.h. Arsenal
February, 2017

Fooducate is a website and app that helps you shop and eat healthy by allowing you to quickly pull up nutritional information about food products from barcodes, as well as by helping you make sense of nutritional labels.

The app allows you to scan barcodes and view nutritional information about the number and quality of calories in the foods you eat. This makes it easy to spot added sugar, trans and saturated fat, and other ingredients that may otherwise be hard to find on the nutrition label.

The Fooducate app is available for free in the app store for iPhone and Android

Sleep Corner

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition in which the upper passages of your airways close up, cutting off your oxygen and interrupting your breathing until you wake up and start breathing again. Snoring and gasping for air throughout the nights leads to less deep sleep and untimely more daytimes sleepiness the next day.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, veterans are four times as likely to have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In addition, those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or a traumatic brain injury have a higher incidence of OSA, meaning that psychiatric and sleep disorders are often linked.

If you think you have sleep apnea, speak with your doctor. In addition to the dangers that come with excessive daytime sleepiness while on the job, sleep apnea increases your risk for high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, liver problems and other serious health conditions. Only a doctor can determine if you have sleep apnea and provide a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle.

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Whole Grains

Whole grains (such as oatmeal and quinoa) are more nutritious than refined grains (such as white rice and white bread). Whole grains contain all three parts of the grain, including the fiber rich outer bran layer as well as the vitamin and mineral rich germ. Conversely, refined grains have the outer bran layer removed. Some vitamins and minerals are added back in, but not all. Additionally, much of the fiber is lost when grains are refined.

Health Benefits

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that you make at least half of your grain consumption whole grains. A diet rich in whole grains reduces your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other health complications. It is also associated with lower body weight and healthy weight maintenance. The Mediterranean Diet, which is consistently promoted by health professionals as one of the healthiest styles of eating, consists of whole grains as one of the primary foundations of the diet.

What to Look for

When at the grocery store, make sure the label says “whole wheat” or “whole grain”. Just because a food is brown or looks like it is whole grain doesn’t mean that is actually is whole grain. Labels that say “multigrain” or “wheat” may look like whole grain, but are actually refined grain. Besides oatmeal and quinoa, other types of whole grains include barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, wild rice, and whole wheat bread and pasta.

Add Whole Grains to Your Meals

Whole grains are one of the easiest foods to add to your diet. They can fit into every meal, whether breakfast, lunch, or dinner. For breakfast try: oatmeal, a piece of whole grain toast, or a whole grain wrap stuffed with eggs and veggies. For lunch try: a sandwich on whole grain bread, a whole grain chicken and avocado wrap, or cheese on whole grain crackers. For dinner try: brown rice stir fry, Mediterranean quinoa salad, or sweet potato casserole with black beans, kale, and buckwheat.

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Ask An Expert

Q: I tend to snack a lot. What are some tips for healthier snacking?

A: Snacking can and should be a part of a healthy diet. Snacking in between meals is a great way to prevent overeating and maintain steady energy levels throughout the day. The ideal snack includes a combination of protein and complex carbs. This kind of snack is satisfying thanks to the slowly digesting protein and complex carbohydrates. Some ideas for healthy snacks are: an apple and peanut butter, handful of almonds and some berries, carrots and hummus, grapes and string cheese, avocado and whole wheat toast, Greek yogurt and with whole grain granola.

Try to avoid snacks that are high saturated fat and sugar. Some examples of these items are pop-tarts, most granola bars, most prepackaged foods or foods from vending machines, regular yogurt, and cereal, to name a few.

Following these healthy snacking tips can help to prevent overeating and provide a slow and steady energy source that lasts throughout the day.

Mindful Moment

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
– Victor Frankl

Bottom Line

Whole grains are a great way to add fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your diet. A diet rich in whole grains has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, to name a few. Don’t forget to look for “whole grain” or “whole wheat” on the label.

Another healthy eating tip is to choose the right snack. The ideal snack is a combination of complex carbs and a protein source. Aim for one snack between each meal. This will help to curb your appetite and prevent overrating.

Sleep apnea is a condition that affects many Soldiers and Veterans. It is characterized by snoring and gasping for air at night. If you think you sleep apnea, consult your doctor.

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Featured Recipe: Crockpot Vegetable Lentil Soup

This crockpot soup is a great source of fiber and protein, as well as Vitamin A and C. Whether you are a vegetarian or omnivore, there's no denying that this soup is super easy to prepare and very delicious! After a few minutes of chopping and dicing, you'll be good to go!

  • 1 16oz. bag brown lentils
  • 8 C vegetable stock
  • 1 15.5oz. low-sodium fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 medium white potatoes, diced
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • ¼ t pepper
  • 2 cups fresh kale, chopped

  • Instructions

    Add all ingredients to the crock pot except the kale and stir. Cook on high for 2 ½ hours.

    Add the kale and cook for another 15 minutes or until desired tenderness.

    Nutrition Information:
    Servings: 6      Calories: 179      Carbs: 29g      Fiber: 10g      Sugar: 6g                Fat: 1g            Protein: 11g        Sodium: 442mg     

    Featured Exercise: Bosu Push Up

    Featured Recipe adapted from DEARcrissy.